Knight Errant

Alum Kameron Herndon reflects on his experience in the Marine Corps

Kameron+Herndon+decided+to+push+himself+by+joining+the+Marine+Corps.
Kameron Herndon decided to push himself by joining the Marine Corps.

Kameron Herndon decided to push himself by joining the Marine Corps.

Ashley Ortizcazarin

Ashley Ortizcazarin

Kameron Herndon decided to push himself by joining the Marine Corps.

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2017 BSM grad Kameron Herndon chose a unique path for his post high school plans. Instead of applying to college, Herndon decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. This means that Herndon would become an active-duty soldier and a fully-fledged Marine after thirteen weeks of rigorous training.

The first night at Marine boot camp was incredibly hectic and a complete culture change for Herndon. “By the end of that day we were bald, wearing our government issued gear and completely stripped of our civilian identity” Herndon said. The next thirteen weeks were going to be challenging because the men and women in boot camp would be transformed from civilians into active-duty Marine Corps soldiers.

Herndon traveled to San Diego to complete his training. “The majority of boot camp took place at Marine Corps recruit depot San Diego, right next to the airport. However during the weeks we shot our rifles, went to the field and did the crucible, we took a bus up to Camp Pendelton, which was 40 minutes north” Herndon said.  

While the challenges of boot camp were very intense, Herndon found a sense of purpose in his work. The marines that he was living and training with became his brothers. The sense of camaraderie was instrumental for success in boot camp. “Bootcamp brought a hundred kids all from different walks of life together. We were forced to set aside our differences if we were to complete the  tasks given to us. While it was hard sometimes, I ended up making some outstanding friends over there” Herndon said. 

The Marine Corps is incredibly physical. The Corps emphasizes physical and mental fortitude because the nature of their role as soldiers will demand them to be in peak physical condition. On top of individual physical capability, having the team support you and supporting the team is paramount to success through boot camp. “I realized the extent of our bond when I got a heat injury towards the end of a hike. What seemed like the whole platoon helped carry me up the last hills to bring me back to the barracks… I made sure to properly hydrate after that incident, but it just cemented the fact that the Marines to my left and right would always have my back,” Herndon said. 

Although the Marine boot camp was physically and mentally demanding, long, and grueling, Herndon is content with the decision that he made. While the temptation of a relatively luxurious college life can be enticing, Herndon wouldn’t change his decision to become a United States Marine for the world. “Simply claiming the title of United States Marine makes the months of struggle worth it,” Herndon said.

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About the Contributors
Lorenzo Cerda, Staff Writer

When he is not asking people what they got on the chemistry test or running an obscene amount of miles, one can find Lorenzo Cerda snacking on two large pizzas or immersed in a deep midday slumber. He enjoys spiritually connecting with his pet turtle TIMBER and frolicking in the Greater Minnesota Twin Cities area. His many goals include challenging Michael Hunter for the most chicken fried steaks eaten, sleeping through a whole day, finding ways to achieve academic success without touching homework, and winning the Boston Marathon in under an hour.  

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Ashley Ortizcazarin, Magazine Managing Editor

If in need of inspirational ideas, Ashley is the girl you go to. As known for her multiple “crazy ideas,” her creative mind doesn’t ever stop. When she’s not cracking down graphic designers, photographers, and writers to make deadlines, you can find her shooting senior photos and making videos for clubs within BSM. Expect to see her wardrob consist of pastel astetics and decades vintage. On the other hand besides school, Ashley and her gang of friends are expected to be watching That 70’s Show and Friends until midnight. She could be considered the teenage version of Selena Gomez.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Alum Kameron Herndon reflects on his experience in the Marine Corps”

  1. James Libbey on January 10th, 2018 11:39 am

    This is a nice article, I like how you’re highlighting alumni with interesting stories like Kameron’s. Keep it up!

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Alum Kameron Herndon reflects on his experience in the Marine Corps